Walk to School

  • Planning for walking to school involves careful consideration of various factors to ensure a safe, enjoyable, and efficient journey. Here are some essential tips to help you create a well-thought-out plan:

    • Map Your Route: Identify the most direct and safe walking route to school. Consider pathways with sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and minimal traffic. Walk the route with your child beforehand to become familiar with potential hazards and landmarks. 

    • Assess Safety: Evaluate the safety of the chosen route. Look for areas with heavy traffic, blind spots, or potential risks. Avoid busy roads and intersections as much as possible. If you encounter tricky or unsafe spots, try to find alternative routes.

    • Consider How Much Time You Need: Assess the distance from home to school and estimate how long the walk will take. Consider factors like your child's age, fitness level, and the weather conditions. Allow some extra time in the morning to avoid rushing. Before starting the regular walking routine, practice the walk together with your child. 

    • Weather Preparation: Be prepared for different weather conditions. Have appropriate clothing and accessories such as umbrellas, raincoats, jackets, or sun hats, depending on the weather forecast.

    • Walking Buddy System: If possible, encourage your child to walk with friends or classmates. Having a walking buddy not only enhances safety but also makes the journey more enjoyable.

    • Identify Safe Spots: Designate safe meeting points along the route in case your child needs help or encounters any problems. These could be trusted neighbors' houses or public spaces. Make sure your child has a way to communicate with you or a trusted adult in case of emergencies. Provide them with a cell phone or a whistle to attract attention if needed.

    • Road Safety Education: Educate your child about road safety rules and pedestrian etiquette. Teach them about using pedestrian crossings, looking both ways before crossing the road, and making eye contact with drivers.

    • Be Visible: If your child walks during low-light hours, ensure they wear bright, reflective clothing or accessories to remain visible to drivers.

    • Parental Supervision: If your child is too young to walk alone, plan to accompany them until they are old enough and responsible enough to walk independently. This flyer provides information on assessing if your child is mature enough to walk independently.


    By planning for walking to school with these tips in mind, you can ensure your child's daily journey is safe, enjoyable, and contributes to their overall well-being. Walking to school not only promotes physical health but also fosters a sense of independence and responsibility in your student.


    Walking Resources:

    How To Start a Walking School Bus Guide

    PBOT Bike and Walk Maps

    Portland Walking Guide

    A Guide to Your Rights + Responsibilities for Staying Safe as a Pedestrian

    Portland Sidewalks Map